What about a second aptitude test?

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Speedy, Apr 22, 2010.

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  1. It's been nagging me recently the thought that that army loeses quite a few good soldiers at between their 5 and 10 year points, for many varying reasons, but one which particularly stands out in my mind is the percived lack of opportunity that many feel they have. These individuals are often realise they are going to be stuck at L\Cpl or Cpl level for reasons such as lack of leadership ability, frustration that they are often much more intelligent than those above them but don't know how to best use it and are often described as 'a pain in the aarse', or some who after being passed over repeatedly decide to pack it in.
    Why not try and keep them? Why not try and actually get them in a job that they will shine in? I know that (from first hand experience) it gets very frustrating to know that you have talents and abilities that are not being used, but often feel no more than a name on a nominal role that keeps the OC's manning levels chirpy, and the fact that you don't like to hit\kick\run with a ball has exempted you from further career progression.
    Anyway, back to my main point. Why does teh army not introduce a second aptitude test at say the 3 or 4 year point? Many who take teh entry tests have barly begun to think for themselves, and several years already served would have their brain firing at a much better rate than when they first took it. This test should be differnt from the orgional, and look for traits that the army needs in more specialised jobs which require differernt methods of thought. A soldier could then be offered the choice of moving over to a more suitable job and career path (I'm thinking of the more technical and analytical posts here). WHilst it would not work for all soldiers, it would have the benefit of highlighting troops whoes abilities, latent or otherwise, have so far been ignored. The army wastes an awful lot of good manpower each year to wasteage that can be avoided, and to keep hugely intelligent soldiers as drivers, chefs, lineys etc until they just feel that they have had enough and leave is simply a wste of an already trained workforce. Is it a viable idea? Is it a good idea? Does the army need to look after soldiers careers better when they fall by the wayside? Saying to a 5 year private at CR time 'I know Pte Bloggs has an IQ of 115, but his lack of enthusiasm when carrying out his job of POL storeman is hampering any chance of future progression' is hardly encouraging.
  2. I'm not withdrawing my termination no matter what you say damnit. :)
  3. heh, and the reason you're leaving?
  4. Jesus Speedy! Some of the characters in trade at the moment have to be seen to be believed! You'd have to check their pulse before testing anything else! A lot of dead wood being cast away at the moment, some jumping, some being pushed. You going to reunion again this year? :D
  5. Speedy,

    Alternatively what about some óf those LCpls or Cpls accepting that they have reached their ceiling and be happy with their lot in life. Not everyone can be RSM.

  6. No, not everyone will be RSM, but for the army to lose so much potential annually without even realising what they had is wasteful. No, not everyone will make the sgts mess either, but to have the right skills and abilities in the right place with people who actually want to be doing the job they have found themselves in does need thinking about IMHO, and in many cases it would actually increase the individuals career prospects. You can be bad at one thign and great at another,but in teh army many don't care solong as they have a full nominal role. Why be rubbish at the job that they initially chose when joining (often without a full realisation of what that career path entailed) when you can be steered intosomethign more suited to you offerign greater chances, especially in jobs that require a particular mindset. IT Realated trades are a good example.
  7. You are probably right. Perhaps we should try and make it easier for those people that you are alluding to, to transfer into other trades or Arms.

  8. I joined the Army in 1976. I was only 17 years old and was desperate to be a dog handler. However, I was posted to the RA as a command post assistant, a job I hated and was completely unsuited to.

    I loved the sport and going to N.I. as infantry and volunteered for any thing interesting to get away from the dull life of RA life in BAOR.

    I pvr`d after nearly 6 years. I still have a feeling that if I could have gone to do the job I originally wanted to then I may have stayed in a lot longer.

    I know the Army is a big, faceless organisation than deals with huge numbers of recruits. However, transferring me, rather than losing me, would`nt have been that difficult.

    Still miss some aspects, re-union next week.
  9. Mainly it's not about making things 'happier' for the soldiers, rather that that army should be able to use them in more suitable roles. This in turn would lead to greater retention of trained troops, and if soldiers are given the opportinity of re-training into a position that their natural abilities are more attuned to then the army actually has a larger skills base with a greater number of troops trained in multiple roles. Let's face it, lots of soldiers re-train for civ-div in jobs totally unrelated to those they were employed in within the army and many love it and thrive. Why not utilise this latent skills base?
  10. Is this solely a responsibility of the CoC?

    As an aside, we all like to think we could do our boss' job better, but realistically those at the bottom know very little of what the boss actually does. Recently employed in an environment where I work closely with the top corridor it came as quite a shock to see the amount of hours and breadth of responsibility undertaken. I fully understand why my OC and 2iC earn a lot more than me, and it isn't just because of time served.

    As for employing people more sensibly, I have very definite opinions. The majority of people in my trade group are bright lads and are frustrated by what they often consider to be an uninteresting (although essential) contribution to the machine.
    However, their plan of action is to sit around, moan to anyone who will listen and (I can only assume) eventually become disheartened enough to leave the mob altogether. All for the wrong reasons.

    Everyone has a right to request an interview with their OC. Everyone has the right to be considered for re-trading or transferring to another arm. Quite rightly, this has to be initiated by the individual soldier. The CoC has a responsibility to manage our careers, but it is first and foremost the responsibility of each and every one of us.

    There ARE various aptitude tests that can be undertaken by a soldier in order to assess his potential to be employed in a specialist role. The Modern Languages Aptitude Test (MLAT) for instance, provides an opportunity for a soldier to be tested for suitability for a Linguist role. ETS Officers regularly tour units to conduct this test, and they are regularly run in most AEC units. It is up to the soldier to put himself out and attend.

    The MLAT is now also conducted as a part of JCLM (3), which does seem to fit the bill as a built-in aptitude test as your propose it.

    During my initial interview with my OC I explained to him that I enjoyed the Army but didn't see myself staying in trade, stating my reasons sensibly. He didn't see it as traitorous or ungrateful and did far more than he was required to in order to ensure I was as well prepared as I could be for a very competitive selection process.

    When the new 2iC came in he asked for a quiet word regarding my transfer. I explained to him also, that I would rather do something about my current situation than do nothing and eventually leave the job I loved (separating job from trade) because I hadn't bothered my arrse. He replied by saying that if every soldier approached their issues in such a mature manner then they may begin to realise that their own retention starts at home.

    There are too many lads who aren't happy but expect somebody else to sort it out for them. If they initiated proceedings themselves they may well realise just how supportive a good CoC can be.
  11. Quite, however there some CoCs that are sadly lacking. One guy who left at the same time as me was an absolute star and wanted to initiate proceedings to apply for a commission, which he duly did. The OC at the time strung him along for 2 years until he was out of the age bracket and then went 'A well, never mind'. He duly signed off and is now an inspector in the police. Their gain, our loss. Yes it is fine if you have a good chain of command, and have an idea of where you want to go career wise, but not all people are like that. If you've come from a 'bog standard' comprehensive school, joined the army in your teens then often you don't knwo what you are capable of. The army entance tests are all well and good, but will not be representative of an individuals abilities several years down the line. It is these abilities I think the army should make an effort to look at. Not for the sake of a soldiers career so much, but for the sake of using untapped talent.
    I left 10 years ago, and since then my civvy employers have always looked after my career far more than the army did. The onus being on teh soldier havign to apply for courses they want and try and get the trainign and experience they require for a role sort of lets the CoC off the hook somewhat when it comes to ensuring all soldiers are given as much chance as their abilities are capable of.
  12. I am aware that I've been incredibly lucky to have a CoC who have been proactive in retaining me, albeit losing me to another arm. Is there no right to redress should a CoC be unhelpful? I'm sure I was briefed as to the right a soldier has to be assessed for a new trade within a certain number of weeks of raising the issue.

    But it seems we're now talking about assessing a soldier for a specialist role without him expressing an interest in the first place. I see how you mean this could be used to tap hidden talents or potential, but surely a soldier not motivated enough to research such a thing off his own back, even though disillusioned in his current role, is not the sort of soldier one would want filling a slot in a specialist trade?

    I would have thought the specialist (and as such, less mainstream) roles should be going to those individuals with enough spark to get the ball rolling in their favour.

    I didn't attend a bog standard comprehensive, did join in my teens and was effectively told by the Career Office what I was going to do. As a young lad I did what I was told.
  13. Can somebody explain to me - does the Army have what the Navy have - a "Drafty", a central division that allocates postings, with a person within there responsible for different ranks / branches etc?

    Is there an Army equlivilent where you can phone directly and speak to somebody who is directly involved with posting people of a certain rank & trade, so you can make requests or state a preference?

    Does the army have "swap drafts" Where, if you don't like where you are posted and you can find someone to swap with you can do so?

    I get the general gist of this thread - it's probably a tri-service phenomenon but not for no reason I'd hazard. Unless the Army don't have "options" as it were then I'd say it's more down to motivation. Whats the point in having an IQ of 180 with no motivation? I know of many in the mob who were more qualified on paper than most of the wardroom - they expected things to present themselves on a plate though.

    As you know..if you are shit at boxing and rugby then that never happens!